If you spend any time on Pinterest — admittedly, I haven’t recently — you’re likely to stumble on a photo or twelve of Anh Co Tran’s textured lobs and bobs; you’ll recognize them by the cool girl “undone” texture and perfect highlights. I brought half a dozen screenshots of his work to my stylist when I chopped off 10 inches earlier this season, and she translated it with a textured asymmetric razor cut that I love. (Seriously, I haven’t missed my long hair for a minute.)
Tran calls his signature style ‘lived in hair,’ and while it looks completely effortless, it does take some work. With a lot of practice and YouTube tutorials, I think I have it down.
Below are a few tips I’ve picked up for easy tousled tresses (we’re all about the lowest maintenance level ’round here).
Keep your hair clean. Listen, I’m all about the once-a-week wash, but if I want any kind of volume at the roots with my shorter style, my hair has to be clean. I usually shampoo every other night, and after I gently towel dry, I spray ‘It’s a 10’ leave-in conditioner with keratin into my hands and work it through the length of my hair. If I’m not going anywhere, I let it air dry overnight. Otherwise I quickly blow dry it with absolutely zero skill or finesse, using my fingers as a comb and flipping it way to the side for extra volume (see Ingrid’s video for a how-to).
Put down the hairbrush. I hardly ever put a brush to my head. Besides a quick detangling with a wide-tooth comb or wet brush out of the shower, I leave it alone. I think this has two benefits: 1. less breakage, and 2. my natural texture is a little wavy, so it’s less work with the curling iron later.
Curl both ways. Okay, here’s where I was doing it wrong. For years! I used to always curl my hair in one direction away from my face, all the way back on each side. You gotta alternate, y’all: curl the front sections away from your face, but then switch it up and curl pieces both ways; one away, one toward, one away, one toward; you get the gist. Oh, and keep the ends of your hair out of the clamp so you get ‘messy waves,’ instead of ‘prom ringlets.’ When you’ve finished your entire head and the hair has cooled a bit, break it all up with your fingers and pull the curls out into loose waves.
Go easy on the product. I used to think I needed a handful of products — from volumizing mousse to extra hold hairspray — to make this style work, but I’ve found that less is more; too much product makes my hair heavy, greasy and flat. Most days I just finish the style with Redken Fashion Waves 07 sea salt spray or Oscar Blandi ‘Pronto’ Texture and Volume Spray for ‘piecey’ texture and flexible all-day hold. On the second day, I spray a little Rockaholic dry shampoo into my roots and I’m out the door!